Santa coming to town but going the long way

Although Santa Ana Lane hasn’t won for over a year, Anthony Freedman’s stable representative Sam Freedman pointed out that any examination of his form since would have to conclude he’s still running at the same level which has produced five Group 1 wins.

“He’s going just as well. Last spring in The Everest he broke his own track record when he finished second to Yes Yes Yes. That doesn’t sound like he’s gone backwards,” Freedman said.

In six starts since winning the T.J Smith Stakes last year, Santa Ana Lane has finished second three times and fourth once.

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At his last start, he finished second to Nature Strip in the T.J Smith Stakes also at Randwick, and Freedman is happy he’s not in the field.

“Santa Ana Lane likes a fast hectic pace from the outset. Nature Strip does it differently. He builds early and then puts the pedal down in the middle stages of the race which makes it hard for other horses to stay in touch and then build to run on,” he said.

“Santa is best suited by the speed being on from the outset and continuing so the leaders comeback in the closing stages.”

He believes he will be better suited over 1400m and on a firmer track which he will have at Randwick.

Sam Freedman with Santa Ana Lane. Picture: Jenny EvansSource:News Corp Australia

“At his last two runs over 1400m or a distance similar he won the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes in 2017 and the Stradbroke in 2018 which was run over 1350m.”

“I think he’s going along really nicely. First-up he was run off his feet over 1000m and then last start he beat all bar Nature Strip.

“We’ve maintained for sometime that he’s been wanting 1400m. He’s drawn to the inside settle closer and there should be good speed. He should be able to use his tactical early speed to settle midfield or slightly better and then finish the race off.”

Freedman doesn’t discount last year’s Caulfield Guineas winner Super Seth returning to his best form and causing an upset after finishing eighth in the Doncaster.

“It was a good run in the Doncaster. He was the worst weighted runner on the day carrying 55.5kg for a three-year-old. He’ll meet the Doncaster placegetter Brandenburg 4.5kg better off.

“He was beaten only three lengths and we rode him a tad handy and he over-raced as a result.

“We’ve placed the tongue-tie on and we’ll give him a chance to relax and sprint home.”

Santa Ana Lane is $4.80 with TAB fixed odds and Super Seth is a $19 chance.




GROUP 1 $480,000 ALL AGED STAKES (1400m)



PIERATA ($4.40)

Won this race last year. Similar run in the T.J Smith Stakes this year to the one preceded last year’s win as he finished fourth (compared to fifth). Starts from the same barrier he started from last year which is nine and that gives him a chance to settle back and get to the outside and power home.


Great run when second in the T.J Smith Stakes last start defeating several of his rivals in this. He’s racing as if he’s looking for 1400m and his last two runs over that distance and a similar one produced a win in the 2017 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield and a win in the 2018 Stradbroke Handicap which was run over 1350m.

Santa Ana Lane wins the 2019 edition of the T.J. Smith Stakes.Source:Getty Images


Three runs this time in have been excellent in strong fields. Sat four wide throughout at his last run when he finished a close-up fourth in the All-Star Mile. He’s been freshened since and he’ll love the fast speed.

TOFANE ($10)

She keeps taking her game to another level. She finished fifth at her last start in the T.J Smith Stakes where she produced the best last 400m sectional in the race. This is her first attempt over 1400m but is racing as if it will suit.

Can Bivouac repeat his stunning Newmarket Handicap performance?Source:Getty Images


Star three-year-old colt and not much went right for him in the T.J Smith Stakes in the early stages as he didn’t jump well and then suffered interference. He produced the best last 800m to finish sixth. His only run over 1400m he won the Golden Rose Stakes. His easy Newmarket Handicap win was a demonstration of his outstanding talent.



Has lost some of his gloss in recent starts. Two starts ago in the George Ryder Stakes he was checked early and had little chance on a leader dominated track. Then in the Doncaster Mile last start with a big weight for a three-year-old he settled closer in the run but didn’t finish race off. He’s good enough to bounce back.


Track: Soft 5

Rail: Out 7m

Forecast: 23C Chance of light showers.


There’s going to be heaps of speed with the likes of DREAMFORCE, FASIKA and WHITE MOSS all pushing forward. BIVOUAC and SANTA ANA LANE should get good positions behind the speed.


The last four winners have all contested the T.J Smith Stakes finishing in positions from first to fifth. Barrier seven has been the lucky barrier in recent years winning seven of the last 12. FIERCE IMPACT starts from barrier seven this year. Barrier six has also won twice. No horse drawn inside barrier six has won in the last seven years.


Put 60% of stake on Santa Ana Lane and 40% on the three-year-old colt Bivouac.




BIVOUAC (No. 11)

“His standout performances have both been in G1 races where he’s shown that explosive turn of foot. With the prospects of a dry track on Saturday, we are confident the genuine article will be on show, at weight-for-age in what is one of the best All Aged Stakes fields we’ve seen in quite some time.”

Originally published asSanta coming to town but going the long way

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